What is the Alkaline Diet?
Other names: alkaline acid diet, acid alkaline diet
An alkaline diet is a diet that emphasizes, to a varying degree, fresh
fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts, and legumes.
'What is the History of Alkaline Diets?
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed a diet very different from what's
typical today. The diet was based on minimally processed plant and
animal foods. But with the advent of agriculture, the standard Western
diet changed greatly.
* Grains were introduced into the diet after the appearance of stone
tools. Refined grains were available after the invention of automated
rolling and sifting devices.
* Milk, cheese and other milk products were introduced with the
domestication of livestock.
* Salt consumption rose when technology to mine, process, and transport
it became available.
* Meat consumption increased with animal husbandry. It further increased
with the advent of technology that enabled grains to be efficiently fed
to cattle, which allowed cattle to be fattened quickly.
* Sugar consumption has risen since the beginning of the Industrial
Almost all foods that we eat, after being digested, absorbed, and
metabolized, release either an acid or an alkaline base (bicarbonate)
into blood. Grains, fish, meat, poultry, shellfish, cheese, milk, and
salt all produce acid, so the introduction and dramatic rise in our
consumption of these foods meant that the typical Western diet became
more acid-producing. Consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables
decreased, which further made the Western diet acid-producing.
Our blood is slightly alkaline, with a normal pH
level of between 7.35
and 7.45. The theory behind the alkaline diet is that our diet should
reflect this pH level (as it did in the past) and be slightly alkaline.
Proponents of alkaline diets believe that a diet high in acid-producing
foods is disrupts this balance and promotes the loss of essential
minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium, as the body
tries to restore equilibrium. This imbalance is thought to make people
prone to illness.
Why Do People Try Alkaline Diets?
According to some alternative practitioners, the shift to an
acid-producing diet is the cause of a number of chronic diseases. Some
practitioners recommend the alkaline diet if a person has the following
symptoms and other illnesses have been ruled out.
* Lack of energy
* Excessive mucous production
* Nasal congestion
* Frequent colds and flu
* Anxiety, nervousness, irritability
* Ovarian cysts, polycystic ovaries, benign breast cysts
Although conventional doctors do believe that increasing consumption of
fruit and vegetables and reducing one's intake of meat, salt, and
refined grains is beneficial to health, most conventional doctors do not
believe that an acid-producing diet is the foundation of chronic
illness. In conventional medicine, there is evidence, however, that
alkaline diets may help prevent the formation of calcium kidney stones,
osteoporosis, and age-related muscle wasting.
What is the Evidence for Alkaline Diets?
Large, well-designed clinical trials on the effectiveness of the
alkaline diet for general health are lacking.
What are the Safety Concerns?
It's a good idea to consult your doctor before trying a new diet.
alkaline diet should not be used by people with acute or chronic kidney
failure unless under a doctor's supervision. People with pre-existing
heart disease and those on medications that affect potassium levels in
the body should check with their doctor first.